Let's put an end to the theories right now.
Listen up, pay attention as we present this public service announcement.
In case you were wondering about your Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their prospects for the upcoming 2012 season, and we know you are, we're here to help.
Or we should say John Lynch is here to help.
Don't take some "word on the street" or some mainstream media "expert" on this matter.
Let's go to someone you know and trust, one of Tampa's finest, ever. Let's go straight to Lynch, the former great safety, the bone-crusher, the man who sent a lot of receivers to the sideline in his day.
Lynch is an analyst for Fox these days and is doing the telecasts for the Buccaneer preseason games.
His most important take on the Buccaneers last Friday?
"It's quite evident it's not a really deep football team," Lynch said during the telecast. "It's pretty clear to see. You need quality depth in this league and it's just not here in Tampa."
Now that the waters are a bit more clear, you may want to keep that in mind if you believe this is a 10-win Buccaneer team.
So what can they do?
Just a hunch, but there may be some help available and it could be on their practice field this week.
Enter the New England Patriots. They're coming to town early. They'll work out with the Bucs over there at One Buc Place on Wednesday and Thursday prior to Friday's third game of the preseason.
Lynch said it, Schiano knows it. The Bucs have no quality depth. On that other side of the field, you have New England, a team that has been able to overcome injuries over the years and still compete for the Super Bowl.
Depth? Imagine for a moment, this "theoretical" conversation between Schiano and his pal, Bill Belichick, there behind closed doors in Schiano's office.
GS: "Got a slight problem. Our depth stinks, especially on the defensive line."
BB: "Yeah, I know; saw the Tennessee video."
GS: "Any of your guys we should watch closely on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday?"
Belichick then hands Schiano a small piece of paper.
BB: "We can't keep everyone, I like these guys but you may see them on our waiver wire after the final cuts."
Schiano tucks the paper into his pocket, later passes it off to Mark Dominik.
Okay, it's just "theoretical." But if I were in Schiano's shoes, it would certainly take place.
Which brings us to some of the Patriots' "bubble" guys.
Here's a quick look.
Brandon Deaderick: defensive end out of Alabama. He's 6'4", 305 pounds, third-year player.
Ron Brace: defensive tackle out of Boston College. He's 6'3", 330 pounds, fourth-year player.
Marcus Harrison: nose tackle out of Arkansas. He's 6'3", 310 pounds, fourth-year player.
Jermaine Cunningham: defensive end, former linebacker at Florida. He's 6'3" 255 pounds, third-year player.
One area where New England has excelled more than most in the NFL is in the scouting department. Those are "bubble" defensive players for the Patriots. Bet they're better than some of the Bucs backups.
Another position where the Patriots are "over-stockpiled" is tight end. Tyler Urban out of West Virginia and Alex Silvestro from Rutgers may not make the final roster.
The Bucs aren't exactly tight-end wealthy.
It's nice to have the Patriots coming to town early. Hopefully some of their "magic" will rub off on these fledgling Bucs.
Great scouting opportunity too, isn't it?
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